Thursday, December 30, 2010

well in that case...

Mama: Stop peeling your grapes and just eat them.


Mama: Caroline, stop peeling your grapes. Just eat them.

Caroline: Mama, this is a food test.

Mama: A food test.

Caroline: Seriously, there is important science happening right here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Baby sister is teething and sick and thus 1,000,000% miserable 1,000,000% of the time. At one point yesterday, she paced the upstairs landing, just bleating in snotty, swollen-gummed misery. Caroline came to see what was going on and leaned against the door frame, crossing her arms. She clicked her tongue and shook her head knowingly, "That poor kid."

Monday, December 27, 2010

wait for the real entertainment

We went to see a movie this morning, and we went to a theater she'd never before visited. As we settled into our seats, much to the amusement of all the people around us, Caroline looked around at the heavily curtained walls and said, "Wow, that's a very nice shade of red, don't you think?"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

coming to a marvel comic book near you

Yesterday, several of the stuffed companions were being superhero animals. Caroline introduced a few.

"This is Poodlena. Her superpower is flying."

"Here is Yoka. She has the power of connectedness."

"That's Molly the Maltese, and her superpower is the passion for fashion."

And, finally, sure to make every metropolis' obsessive-compulsive villain weep:

"This is Nesty. She has the superpower known as lint."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

give this girl a red bucket and a bell

After 42 rounds of terrible knock-knock jokes, I requested a break from the hilarity.

Caroline cajoled, pleaded, begged. I stood firm.

"Really, Mama? In this season, you don't want to spread joy?"

Friday, December 17, 2010


Caroline's version of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree":

Hangin' a rat Christmas tree
On a happy holiday
de doo de de de dum de
Let me, darling
Deck the halls with holly jolly

Repeat 31 times.


I told her I liked her version better than the real one. She was annoyed. "You know, that is the real one."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

soon she'll be writing vampire novels

We are at Awkward Dialogue Warning Level: Red around here.

She wanted to do her stamp set again, and I told her she could after Sylvie went down for a nap.

She dramatically gestured and said, "Mama, you need not worry. It shall be of no concern to you. I shall take care of it all myself and keep things out of reach."

I just stared at her.

"I mean it. You need not worry! I'll take care of it!"

I stared more.


I told her to go ahead.

"My wildest dreams were achieved!"

Monday, December 13, 2010

talking when half asleep = unexpected revelations

Caroline was nearly asleep after her ballet class, curled up next to her dad. She started to do her patented approach to keeping herself awake -- talk about anything and everything. She sighed and nuzzled his arm, smiling. "I could just take a piece of daddy and put it in a blender..." Her eyes darted while she grasped for a way to salvage this sentiment with less gore. "...and I would love and hug that blender full of daddy."

a Christmas tragedy

Since it's a snow day here in the Arctic North, Caroline is watching vintage Christmas cartoons streaming from Netflix. There is a late 40s/early 50s live action version of The Night Before Christmas. A non-convincing Santa with a pillow for a belly appears from the chimney. He lights up his corncob pipe and surveys the living room before getting to work.

As soon as the smoke began wafting from the pipe, Caroline turned to me shaking her head and said very matter-of-factly, "Santa's smoking. He's going to die."

a hint: ding!

She called from upstairs, very politely requesting a snack. I agreed to fetch her something. And then I completely forgot about it.

About 10 minutes later, from the top of the stairs, a most cheerful (and convincing) diner cook voice called out, "Order up!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the hard sell

Caroline wanted to do one of her craft kits. Her dad sent her to me to ask for approval before saying yes.

I asked, "Which one is it?" as she approached.

She popped out from the doorway and held her kit as though she were a spokesmodel on the Price is Right. She waved her hand over it and, in infomercial form, said, "Oh, just this fine collection of stamps and other such stuff."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

gentle introduction to reality

A man was at our house installing a new back door. After he finished, he was trying to get out the door when social hyena Caroline spied him. She ran to him, "Hi. My name's Caroline." And so it went. The poor guy minding his own business... and she wanted to chat him up. I attempted to shorten the conversation, but she managed to get in an introduction to her stuffed dog.

Caroline: Isn't she cute? Her name is Nesty!

Guy: Oh yeah, she's cute alright. Looks like a good dog.

Caroline: She's the best! Sometimes she's a he, but I decided she's a girl.

Guy: Oh. [awkward pause] Hey, do you take her for walks?

Caroline: No. Well, you see, she's a toy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

yes, but i found you instead.

I was upstairs putting Sylvie down for a nap, and as I descended the stairs, I heard Caroline scurry around the first floor. I grew suspicious immediately.

I looked around the living room. Nowhere to be found. I checked the dining room. Nope. I called her name. I heard nothing in reply. My brow furrowed. I walked into the kitchen.

There, perched atop a stool at the furthest flung spot, sat Caroline. She had perfect posture and her hands were folded gracefully in her lap.

She feigned being startled and in an exaggerated calm voice, she batted her eyelashes said, "Oh! Hi. By any chance were you looking for an angel?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

interesting job description

"Look at this picture I drew, Mom. It's a little cat using tweezers, holding money -- well, dollars -- over a big open fire that is forcing them up."

I nodded in that confused way I often do.

She finished with, "Yep, that's called 'being a scientist.'"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

keeping in character

Last night, Caroline watched "Olive, the Other Reindeer" on TV. It's no secret that she is obsessed with all things Dog. So, of course, she decided she was Olive, herself. When it was time to go to bed, her dad rounded her up and told her to come give me a kiss goodnight.

She walked over on her four "paws" and was giggling the entire way to me. She said, "Dog kisses are licks!" And I ewwwed and told her to stay where she was and blew her a kiss. But she insisted on the real deal.

While I protested and shielded my face, she and her father laughed as she tried to find a gap in my flailing arms to plant a big dog kiss on my cheek. I clamped my arms over my face, so she parted my hair and licked my forehead.

She crawled away victorious and a-giggle, while I told her I was dropping her off at the pound tomorrow.

After she turned the corner to the stairs, I got back to my reading. Then her grinning face popped out from behind the wall. She gave a little bark and made a slurpy dog air-kiss at me before winking and running up the stairs.

Friday, December 3, 2010

world religions 101: comparitive analysis

At preschool, they talk about all the various wintry holidays. This week, the kids have been learning a lot about Hanukkah. Caroline is predictably enthralled with the games and gelt.

Today, while I was picking up some stuff at the grocery store, I saw little bags of milk chocolate gelt; so I picked up a couple to surprise her with after she had lunch.

She was happy to eat her gelt, and she sat on the edge of the coffee table mmm-ing for a while. After the last chocolaty coin was done, she looked at me and sighed and said, "I wish I was Jewish."

I laughed and said that Jewish kids don't usually do the whole Santa thing. Her eyes got huge.

"Wow, really? Now I'm confused."

I told her that we could do a little bit of the Hanukkah fun AND Santa at our house.

"Phew. That's good. Chocolate cash or Santa... I don't know if I could make a choice that serious."

channeling lucy van pelt

After a smooch from Reuben: "EW! DOG LICK!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010

creating a monster

I took Caroline to my hair salon for the first time tonight, for a "very stylish" hair cut. She was like a kid in a candy store.

Why, you ask?

My salon is full of hip young people (I am not even close to being a member of that demographic, but they do good hair). Pretty girls in tight pants with sequins up the side, artsy fellows in ironic bowties, a guy named Mojo...

Caroline could not contain her excitement.

"Mama! Everyone here wears EYE SHADOW!!!! EeeeeeeEEEeeeEEE! I love this place even more than I love Halloween!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

machismo = sharp teeth

We don't eat a lot of meat around here. Not for any big purposeful reason, I just don't like to prepare it and don't particularly love it; and I'm the household cook, so my preferences win. So it is a rare day that we have a slab of meat in the house or in a meal. Tonight, I made a vegetable soup, and I remembered I had a flank steak in the freezer for some purpose I cannot recall. So I cooked it until tender, cut it into soup-appropriate pieces, and added it to the simmering pot.

When I prepared Caroline's bowl, I left in only one cube of meat and told her if she liked it, she could have more.

She tried the bite of steak without hesitation. She chewed a few seconds. She didn't look convinced that she liked it.

Her verdict was a thumbs down.

"I kind of feel like a boy when I'm eating that."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

so thoughtful

"I think I am going to just tell Santa that I want everything on TV. He might get tired of listening to my list if I go one at a time."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

new scent available from yankee candle co.

She finally caught what has been circulating for weeks -- the pukes. Last night at 9pm, we heard The Cough™ that yields disaster. Chuck took the bedding, stuffed animal, and room cleanup, I took the crying kid cleanup. After new pajamas, clean mouth, clean hair, and clean face; I had her wash her hands really good, as I did, to avoid spreading the icks to Sylvie. She went back to bed.

This morning she woke up moaning about her stomach. I ran her into the bathroom, and she sat on a stool next to the toilet while we waited to see if something was about to erupt from her gut.

We chatted about how this is a short-lived sickness and hopefully she was all done. She whined about how she didn't want to throw up, refused to hold a bucket, etc. She talked about how bad puke stinks. Then she sniffed her hands to make sure it was gone. She smiled and was relieved by the smell of her clean hands. Then she said with a smile, "I smell like you."

I was leery of any potential similarity between my smell and puke smell, so I asked for clarification.

"They smell clean. I was laying in bed last night and my hands were on my pillow, and I wondered why I smelled this. I like it. The smell is... warm mama."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

to grandmother's house we go

En route back from Indiana to visit my mother and extended family, Caroline randomly piped up.

"I like that Marmy. She's a really great girl."

Chuck agreed and said that Marmy's a pretty special grandma.

"You know some of why she's really great? Because she lets me watch whatever I want to watch. She lets me eat whatever I want to eat. She lets me do whatever I want to do. That is pretty great."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

not to be confused with "deflated"

Caroline: Daddy, will you carry me upstairs?

Daddy: No, I'm too tired.

Caroline: [sigh] Wow. I feel like a balloon that has been popped.

Monday, November 22, 2010


The kids at school made paper turkeys, decorated them with feathers, and inscribed the things for which they are most thankful.

There were lots of answers of "Mom" and "my family" and even "animals," though a few kids spiced it up with "Trick or Treating" and "Earth" and various favorite foods. I found Caroline's turkey last. On it, scrawled with an introductory backwards S, looking just as preschool cliche as possible, it said "STUFFEDOGS" [sic].

Sunday, November 21, 2010

nervousness debunked

Mama: Tomorrow, I have to pay for your ballet recital costume.

Caroline: Wait, you mean I have to wear something special on a big stage?

Mama: Yes, the recital is in June. You have plenty of time to practice.

Caroline: I don't know about the stage and the tutu...

Mama: [surprised at the hesitation] Oh you'll be fine! Don't be nervous.

Caroline: No, I mean, what color roses are you guys going to throw to me on the stage? It needs to match.

Monday, November 15, 2010

second verse interlude

Caroline was sitting at her dad's desk, singing along with her itunes playlist. She sang all the words to one of her favorite songs. At about halfway through, she shouted, "SINGING CAT!" and then started belting out the rest of the tune exclusively in meows.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

making dad proud

Chuck was battling the leaves in our front yard while Caroline twirled around holding her beloved toy dog, Nesty. She tripped on uneven ground and landed face-first on the ground. She stood up and her face was covered in dirt, and there was dirt all over her tongue.

She was not hurt, and I tried to hide the giggles as I brought her in and told her we'd clean her up. I started to walk into the kitchen, and she called out, "Wait!" and ran to the mirror in the foyer to check herself out.

"Ewwww," she said as she stuck out her tongue and saw a bunch of dirt on it. Then she checked both sides of her muddy face, snarled in a menacing way, and said, "Wow. I look like a football player."

Friday, November 12, 2010

well, that would be funny

Caroline hit her elbow on the coffee table and winced and complained.

"Did you hit your funny bone?" I asked.

"Funny bone? It's not a funny bone. My elbow is a serious bone. If it was a funny bone, it would do this!" Then she began doing the chicken dance elbow flap. "All. The. Time."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

fairly accurate

"Sylvie's crazy. She's bonkers. She's Bonkerella. But I'm not Bonkerella. I'm more like half cutie and half bonkers."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

a revelation

"I don't even like having parents."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

in the holiday spirit

"Mama, I think I am running out of space on my Christmas list. I think I need to breathe deep and open up some room in my brain"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

understanding her target market

"Mama, I would like to add the doggy pillow pet to my Christmas list."

I told her I would add it for her and thanked her for the information.

She added with raised eyebrows and a smile, "You know, it's machine washable..."

Friday, October 29, 2010

happy halloween

One of the curses of having an imaginative child is having to fulfill her vision for a costume. Luckily, I am pretty decent at sewing and imagining what she's describing. I had to make sketches and get her approval. She also designed her own makeup (I had to follow her drawings). And, 'lo, Poodlena the Pink Poodle Fairy was born...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

cucumbers and geritol

Caroline was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday. I told her she'd be missing her ballet class, and that she could make it up later this week or next week. She argued about it, proclaimed herself fit for dancing, etc. I pointed out the bags under her eyes, since they are the obvious sign of her not feeling well.

She ran to the mirror to check out her eye bags and subsequently gasped.

"Wow, I look ELDERLY. You know, like you."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

a little weird kid from jerry maguire moment

While playing with her Legos on the floor, she looked up and asked totally out of the blue, "Did you know that Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune are gas giants?"

Friday, October 22, 2010

you hear me?

Chuck was antagonizing the poor child, and she was growing frustrated. So she marched right up to him, put her hands on her hips and said, "Listen! I am telling you RIGHT NOW that I am IGNORING YOU!"

Thursday, October 21, 2010


To the man who came to winterize our sprinklers today:

"That's my baby sister, Sylvie. She has a very small head, just look at it."

Monday, October 18, 2010


Caroline: I need a snack.

Mama: Hm, that's not how you ask.

Caroline: Get me a snack...

[silent, stern motherly glare here]

Mama: and?

Caroline: 'Get me a snack,' I said lovingly.

i bet he had a troubled childhood

Sylvie was taking a much-needed nap today, and I was trying to keep Caroline quiet to no avail, so I put on Nickelodeon in desperation. Spongebob was on. I severely dislike Spongebob. But I was that desperate for the quiet/nap.

I was lamenting how gross the show is. Some character or another yelled "shut up!" and I just ranted a bit about it.

"That was Mr. Krabs, Mama."

I said it was RUDE.

"Mr. Krabs isn't rude, Mom." She thought a moment. "He's just... a little needy."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

mmmm delicious

"I made a new invention. After I broke up with my fireman job, I became an inventor. My invention is -- are you ready for this? Grilled cheese flavored gum."

Friday, October 15, 2010

as if people didn't wonder enough

Her favorite stuffed companion, a small doberman pup named Nesty, often takes on different roles as she plays.

Today, she brought him downstairs and introduced him with a new name.

"I am Maggie, and this is my dog."

Oh yeah? What's his name?



Hot Couple the cat and Scotch the dog, now appearing in prime time.

Honest, we are not boozers -- she just abbreviated one of Nesty's favorite alter egos, a girl dog named Butterscotch. Or at least I hope that's the case.

halloween is getting to her

Caroline walked downstairs and asked, out of the blue, "Mama, is it true that people turn into skeletons after they're dead?"

I confirmed that it takes a long time, but yes eventually all that is left of any formerly living creature is bones.

"So when you get really, really old and then you die, you turn into a skeleton."

I tried to figure out how to best address this without going into more detail about cremation or embalming, when she interrupted.

"And then you get spooOOOOOOooooOOOoky!"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

i'm not quite crafty enough to qualify

While we were eating lunch, we had the following exchange.

"Hey Mom, do you know Martha Stewart?"

"Well, I know who she is, yes."

"Are you friends with her? She seems like your kind of lady."

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Upstairs, I was painting Caroline's nails. We looked out the window and saw Uncle Tom (Chuck's friend) approaching the house for his regular football-watching visit. He had no one with him.

Caroline said, "Uncle Tom is here! But Amy isn't with him. He didn't bring any girl."

I told her, "No, she's not with him. Remember that they broke up a while ago?"

Caroline remembered, "Yeah, sometimes grownups do that."

"When you go downstairs, don't bring it up, ok? He might be a little sensitive about it."


Downstairs, the guys watched football. Caroline joined them.

"Hi Uncle Tom, " she greeted.

"Hi Caroline."

"My mama says you don't have a girlfriend anymore."

Friday, October 8, 2010

raising her right

Caroline: Hi. I'm not your daughter. I'm another girl. I'm a girl in a band. It's actually all girls, and we're a cover band. Yeah, it's pretty great.

Mama: Oh yeah? Who do you cover?

Caroline: We only play Bowie.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

gross and horrible is a job well done

We told her she had to pick up her own (huge) mess, an idea she found disgusting.

"You guys have gross minds. I don't think you're harmless, parents."

Monday, October 4, 2010

gold medal dessert

We try to make dance class night a special one-on-one time for Caroline and I. Trying to cement my status as best.mama.ever, I usually get her a tasty treat. Tonight she got a soft serve sundae with banana slices and a cherry on top, her request.

As we carried the sundae away, the cherry began sliding down the peak of vanilla ice cream.

"Aw, look Mom. The cute little cherry is skiing."

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I was brushing her teeth, and she turned and looked out the hall and gasped. Then she said "sthombie" because she had the toothbrush in her mouth.

I took it out and asked, "What?"

"A zombie!" She pointed out the door.

I told her zombies are imaginary and not real.

"Well it's right behind you now, so it's a good thing you believe they're pretend."

Friday, October 1, 2010


Yesterday was her first dentist visit, and it went super well. Zero cavities, and Miss Jane polished her teeth until they gleamed. She told Caroline with a believable gasp, "I just realized. Your teeth look like princess teeth now!"

Caroline enjoyed this news greatly, and this morning she insisted on wearing a fancy dress suitable for a princess. Once I got her all dressed and ready for school, she ran through the hall and said, "This dress! These teeth! Aaaagh, it's just ridiculously fun!"

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Mama: What do you call that?

Caroline: I call it pretty ingenious.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

again with the sarcastic

She got a talking-to because of something or other, and she immediately started the schmoozing.

"Oh mother, I love you." Then she batted her eyelashes. "And I'm not even being sarcastic."

vocabulary lesson

"Mama, that guy is being sarcastic. Or 'rude,' as I call it."

Monday, September 27, 2010

codename: not caroline

We were en route to ballet class and I said something inconsequential to her. Like, "Okay, Caroline." But it had "Caroline" at the end, and she was not thrilled.

Caroline: Mama, can you please not call me Caroline.

Mama: Uh, okay. What should I call you?

Caroline: I don't know. Sweetiepie or sugar or something like you do.

Mama: [maturely] Why, Caroline? Can you explain, Caroline? Caroline Caroline Caroline.

Caroline: [sigh] Mama, you've gotta stop.

Mama: Okay. Sure. But why?

Caroline: It just makes me worried when you call me by my name.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


We switched rugs between her room and the playroom, and we had some furniture stacked in the hall while we did so. She begged us not to move it back into the room. She threw herself on an end table and said, "No! Please don't!"

I asked why not.

"Here, it has the joyness and love! There, it doesn't!"

Friday, September 24, 2010

our own ramona quimby/sybil

Someone in this house filled our bathroom sink with toothpaste.

Someone also decided it was "an accident."

After being told that she had to clean it up and lose out on her treat tonight, she accepted it surprisingly well... and hmphed a little.

A few moments later, she said, "Oh, I'm not your daughter. I'm a teenager named Ella. I hear you're having a trouble with the kid..."

I confirmed that we were, indeed.

"I have an idea on how to deal with her."

I asked how.

"I'm just going to put her in the garbage."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

the big sister instinct kicks in

Baby Sylvie was toddling around the living room, and Caroline was right up against her, hanging on to the back of her shirt. She was muttering something.

I asked what she was doing.

"Oh, I'm Sylvie's brain. I am making her move and talking for her."

I advised her to perhaps back off a little.

"Well, I am her brain. And I am thinking, 'I really like it when Caroline bothers me.'"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

4am thunderstorm wake-up

"I am feeling a little frightened. And also I want a piece of banana cake."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

the one and only time this designation is acceptable

We were at Caroline's asthma specialist today, and she was just on. It's hard to understand unless you've seen her in action. But she walked in and told everyone in the office that she was Valerie the goddess of weather and that she makes "magical disasters" (natural disasters). When her doctor came in to see her, she declared that "Valerie went on vacation to check out some pretty oceans that she could make into hurricanes," so she was " just regular Caroline" again.

We had a moderately normal visit with him, and I was relieved that I was able to discuss treatments with him without having to reel her in.

Then at the counter when we were checking out, she saw him at the end of the hall and motioned for him to come over.

When he came over, she said, "Dr. Moshi, I am Dr. Ranges. I'm a surgeon. I have to go pick up some kids for their procedures."

He is plain tremendous with children and played along and asked, "Oh, you're a surgeon?"

"Yes," she batted her eyelashes. "I'm totally that kind of girl."


Caroline: Mama, do spiders cry?

Mama: Uh, no, I don't think they do.

Daddy: No, they don't have tear ducts, so they can't cry.

Caroline: But what if one of their friend spiders die? How do they express being sad?

Daddy: Hm, well, not with tears. Probably some other way.

Mama: Yes, I bet they do a special spider dance of sadness.

Caroline: You're wrong.

Monday, September 20, 2010

i parent by the seat of my pants

Totally randomly and without provocation, out of the blue, she walks into a room and says to me:

"Hey Mama, I have to tell you. I don't like it when you make up a bunch of rules all the time. It really makes me grumpy."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

awkward silence

Chuck's lifelong friend Tom came over today to watch some football. Caroline thinks he's the bee's knees.

Randomly, mid-game, she walked in front of him, looked him in the eye, and said, "May I?"

We were confused.

Tom asked, "May you what?"

Caroline put out her arms.

Chuck asked her, "Oh, you want a hug from Uncle Tom?"

She confirmed.

Tom obliged.

Caroline walked away and said, "Phew, I was getting a little nervous."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

two days wiser

It's asthma season again (ah, that whole 2.5 months of cough-free, sick-free bliss), and Caroline's coughing has begun. She was mid-coughing fit, and I grimaced.

Mama: I don't like it when you cough.

Caroline: Why? I'm not coughing on you, right?

Mama: No, not like that. It just makes me really sad to see you coughing and feeling bad.

Caroline: [half smile of bemusement] Well, it's not like a little cough is going to make me die or anything.

Mama: Wait. Aren't you the one who thought you needed surgery for a scraped knee?

Caroline: Mom. I've grown up since then.


"Hey, Mama. When I was a baby and I was inside your tummy, could I see your bones?"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


As we were about to depart from preschool, Caroline skinned her knee while playing with her friend Arden on an impromptu balance beam in the form of a curb. It was a minor abrasion without any blood or bruising.

She was a little teary but tried to hold it together.

She climbed into her car seat, and Arden rubbed her arm and told her it would be ok.

Caroline was unconvinced. "I don't know if I'll see you tomorrow, Arden. I think I'm going to be having knee surgery."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

celestial songs

She started singing these with her toy guitar, and I had to make her stop while I grabbed my laptop and took down dictation.

The Earth is Sinking

The trees are melting
The soggier they get, they fall
The world is going down for life
North then south then west aloooone
The world was getting soggier and old
All along the world, it's getting littler littler [whispered] littler
The soul is getting gone
I'm getting sad about that
I don't know what to tell you
The world sold out of signs
Oh the west, the north
The poles were melting down
The burning lights as well
Everything so north and west

Star Bright, Star Light
Star bright, star light
We're gonna catch a star tonight
Star bright, star light YEAH YEAH
Star bright, star light
I wanna see a star tonight
Star bright catchin' starts tonight!
Star bright, on its own
Center of stone
Star bright, start light YEAH

Planets on the Run
Mars is on the run
Mars is on the run, of course
Jupiter and Saturn are running by the Earth
Every time, every day
The world is going down
Every time, every day

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

dinner hootenanny

At the dinner table, where she had a platter of creamy vegetable soup and shaved turkey (and some other things not important to the story).

Caroline: Hey Mama, have you ever dipped turkey in soup?

Mama: I have had turkey in soup, but I have never dipped turkey in soup.

Caroline: Well! Watch and learn! Step one, dip. [dipped] Step two, eat. [ate]

Mama: Thanks for that lesson. I'd never have figured that out!

Caroline: And don't forget... Step three, enjoy!


Mama: Caroline, do not use your tutu as a napkin.

Caroline: What? It's not on my leotard or anything.

Mama: Clothes are not napkins. Never wipe your hands on your clothes! It is no fun washing stains out of your stuff.

Caroline: I don't know what to tell you, Mama. [patted me on the shoulder] Life is... life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

deep, man

She wanted to change her clothes mid-day, and in an effort to talk her out of it, I reminded her that her teacher told her how she was "gorgeous" in what she wore to school this morning.

Caroline clucked. "Oh Mom, being pretty is just a dream."

I asked what she meant.

"Feeling pretty is all in your head. You make yourself pretty with your brain, not some silly dress."

I nodded.

"Besides, those shorts I want to wear are really, really cute."

Monday, September 6, 2010

savory or sweet?

Caroline was playing with a little toy cat and some real apple slices.

I overheard:

Cat voice: These apples are your future.

[chomp sound]

Caroline [angry]: You just ate my future!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

car songs

We drove 270 miles to visit family today. There was much singing in the car.

There was "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." And then Caroline requested, "Let's sing 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat' -- the JAZZY version." So we sang that with head bops and jazz hands.

Then she said, "I will sing a made-up song. 'Ducks and Swans.' Are you ready? Ducks and SWANS. Ducks and SWANS. Ducks and SWANS. YEAH!"

And as impressive as that was, I was not prepared for her next "made-up" song. "This one is called 'Nothing.' Here it goes." Then there were 30 seconds of silence. When I offered applause, she said, "Wait for the entire song!" I waited. More silence. "Okay. It's over."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

i assure you the ending is different

She has a new habit of changing her clothes 406 times per day, and she usually leaves little piles of dresses and leggings all over the house as she goes.

I reminded her that she needed to gather up her clothes and put away the ones that were still clean and toss the dirty ones in the hamper.

"All by myself?!"


She shot me a look. "You know, this is a lot like Cinderella."

Monday, August 30, 2010

yes, i do

Caroline is out of preschool until the new year starts right after Labor Day. She is bored, and when she is bored, there are lots of wardrobe changes and impromptu plays... and messes. So I am struggling to keep her occupied.

I told her that in a few minutes, I would have her dust the living room.

She cheered and squealed. Excitement over dusting?

I gave her a bewildered look.

She smiled and said, "What? You think it's unnatural?"

true to herself

Some people were over working at our house, and Caroline was up to her normal Caroline-ness as I was trying to usher her out the door (this is impossible if there are people around because she must learn everything about them and tell them everything about her). They came to stand around her while she chatted or did something or other that was funny, and they were cracking up. I shooed her out the door, finally, and one of the women asked, "Is she always like this?" And I said, "Oh yes." And she said, "I bet they love her at school. Or is she the opposite there?" I confirmed that she is always like this, even at school (bless her teacher's exhausted heart). She doesn't amp it up for strangers or put on a show for attention, she is just genuinely, completely gregarious and perhaps a bit naturally over-the-top.

Standing on the porch and looking in, Caroline tapped her chest lightly and said in total earnestness, "What, I gotta be me."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

she doesn't read people magazine, i swear

"This is my pet cat. Her name is Hot Couple."

"WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING? That's not very nice."

Friday, August 27, 2010

i think i've seen a video on youtube

We've had a year full of death in our family. My brother-in-law (pancreatic cancer), my father (COPD/emphysema), and my grandmother (breast cancer) all passed away in the past 14 months. This has led to lots of discussion on illnesses and the finality that comes with life. My dad's sickness has been the one most challenging to explain since it was rooted in the lungs, and Caroline has asthma; so I had to work really hard at explaining that there are different degrees of sickness in the lungs and that her mild asthma is nothing like emphysema, and no, it won't kill her. We had to talk about cigarettes (which she previously had determined were sticks that people chew on) and look at diagrams of the lungs and all sorts of other fun stuff. But she finally got it as well as a 3 or 4 year old could.

Well this last week, the dark cloud of doom descended again. Our neighbor's bichon frise (dog) Charlie passed away. His owner approached Chuck and told him the bad news with tears in his eyes. He was so worried about how Caroline would take it, for she and Charlie had real connection. She really, really loved Charlie. The owner would bring him over for playtime, and Caroline would walk him around the yard on his leash. She talked about Charlie all the time, watched for him to go by on his daily walks, and wished he was her dog.

I dreaded breaking the news about yet another passing. and even moreso because all of our pets are positively geriatric and I didn't want her to realize that their deaths are not far-off. So I did what mothers do, and I put it off until I could no longer bear the tension or fear that she'd run up to the neighbor and ask where Charlie was. So I told her.

After I broke the news and we chatted a bit, she asked, "Mama?"

"Yes, honey?"

"Why did Charlie die?"

I explained, "He was very old. I didn't know he was so old, since he was so playful. I guess he just got sick and couldn't get better."

She paused a moment and looked up and earnestly asked, "Did he smoke too many little tiny doggie cigarettes?"

i hear it's very tropical there

"Welcome to the flight! I am your flight attendant, and I will have drink service for you soon. Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts. Our destination today will be the Coney Islands."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

creative vocabulary

"Mama, you begainst my heart."


"This is really frustrating. I'm so -- it's just... exenterpating!"


"I'm starving. Like, I am almost maste-away."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

a song

I watched Caroline spin and sing this soulful slow number (sung to a romantic tune, really) today:

When I lay in my bed at night
The spiders come out to fright-
EN meeeeeeeee
They crawl and they creep
While I am sleeeeeping, I mean asleep
But when I wake up
I see cute things everywhere
Puppies, so many puppies
and my face in the mirror
And I am not scared anymooooooore

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Caroline ran downstairs in a panic.

Caroline: Mama, you have to call 911!

Mama: What? Why?

Caroline: I can't find my purple hat. I think it was stolen.


Mama: Daddy got his teeth cleaned today at the dentist.

Caroline: Did the dentist use some birds to pick out all the gross stuff?

Mama: Birds?!

Caroline: Yeah, you know, like crocodiles.


After the preschool play, we gave her a small bouquet of gerbera daisies.

First comment (to us): "Awwww, flowers. But is there a toy?"

Second comment (to her friend Katie): "See my flowers? You get them after every great performance."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

like the new math

A tornado warning for a nearby county came on the tv. Caroline and I started talking about tornadoes and safety.

"Yeah, and you have to get in the basement so you can hide from the lava and fire," she informed me.

"Tornadoes aren't volcanoes. What do you think tornadoes are?"

"There is lots of spinning wind and it mixes with lava."

I gave her a bewildered look.

She crossed her arms, "I can't help it if I know this stuff. I'm a very scientific girl."

Monday, August 16, 2010

reduce and reuse

"Oh hi, ma'am. I am Salissida, the super spy. I am a mom, too. I had some children. They were attacked by a bear. Sad to say they died. But I got four new kids that I found on the side of the road."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the tooth economy

Last night, I kissed a sleeping Caroline goodnight, and she bolted upright and said, "My name is Caroline, and I just lost an imaginary tooth." And then she plopped back down.

I whispered, "I'll let the tooth fairy know. "

This morning, she stomped up to me saying, "The tooth fairy did not leave me any money!"

I told her she didn't leave the tooth fairy a tooth, either.

"Well, it was imaginary!"

"Well, maybe she left you an imaginary dollar."

She grew more incredulous, "But she thought it was a real tooth. You called her! I really need a dollar!"

I told her it was important to tell the truth; and I told her that if she wasn't honest with the toothfairy, she might get blacklisted and never get real money for her real teeth when the time comes.

She seemed unconcerned and pointed to her mouth. "Have you seen these teeth, Mama? She'd be crazy to pass them up."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

maybe on opposite day

Caroline insisted I put chocolate syrup on her lemon ice cream.

I gagged at the thought and asked her 42 times if she was sure... "because, dude, it's gonna be disgusting."

"No way, Mama! It's lemon and chocolate. Two of my most favorite tastes." Then she used her most chipper 1950s child star voice, "Put them together, and you got yourself a flavor raaiiiiinbow."

Monday, August 9, 2010

next stop: broadway

Today began two weeks of the Drama summer session of preschool. To Caroline, this is sort of like Christmas. Everyday. For two weeks.

I was talking to her Aunt Jen last week and mentioning that she begins Drama at school this week. Aunt Jen laughed and said, "Are they ready for her?"

That about sums it up.

Caroline's regular teacher (who is not teaching this session but was there for regular school year prep) asked, "So, is Caroline excited about Drama?" I raised my eyebrows and looked at her and said, "Are you kidding me?" I don't think there is an adjective or analogy strong enough to explain how the next two weeks will feed Caroline's soul. She burst out laughing and said, "Yeaaah, that's what I suspected."

So it was no surprise that Caroline came bounding down the stairs this morning, shouting confidently with chin skyward and hands on hips, "My name is Anna, and I am ready to be a DRAMA QUEEN!"

Saturday, August 7, 2010

a true sacrifice

Someone woke up grumpy. I tried to cheer her by asking her to come give me some hugs. I patted the bed next to me and said, "Come on! Hugfest!"

She sighed and looked me in the eye and said, "Okay, fine. But I want you to know that this is taking away from time I should be spending with my toys."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

bad romantic comedy

She was stalling at bed time, and I quickly gave her the look. She put on her earnest face and grabbed my hands.

"Mama. Mama. Listen. I need you to take a chance on me."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

big dreams at the supper table

"I wish I could be a noodle. So then I could fit in a kid's mouth and then get swallowed and see his heart and stuff. And then later, I would get to come out and ride in the toilet."

the most benign and unsuccessful agent i've ever met

Caroline walked up to me and shook my hand. "Hi there. Nice to meet you. I'm Anna. I'm in insurance."

"Ooh," I told her. "That's a good job to have."

"Yeah. We've got low rates. Do you need a paycheck or something?" She gestured out the window towards her play house. "I've got some out back in my office."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

family means no judging

Caroline and Chuck were looking through photos on flickr. They got to a series of photos from our wedding. Caroline gasped.

Then she said very, very skeptically, "Well, I guess Mama could wear white...."


[She has no idea what white symbolizes at weddings. She was just surprised because I own zero pieces of white clothing, and she's never seen me in anything other than my dark wardrobe.]

Saturday, July 31, 2010

a clever disguise

Caroline was being a super spy gymnasticker with a headband and sunglasses (often slid down her nose for a subtle knowing wink). A few moments later, her dad called her over with, "Hey super spy, come here!"

She responded with a wave of the hand, "Oh, I'm not a super spy anymore. I am just a mere child."

Friday, July 30, 2010

i think that's a 15 month milestone

We were playing Maltese Catch (wherein a stuffed animal Maltese puppy is tossed back and forth), and she threw it to me. Her unsteady 4 year old aim resulted in baby sister getting socked in the face with the dog.

There was that shocked pause where you wait to hear if a baby is going to freak out... it was interrupted when Caroline cheerfully directed, "You gotta think fast, sista!"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

you're welcome, richie cunningham

As she hopped out of the car, "Thank you for the ride home, Ma."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

aesthetic scheming

I walked up the stairs to find a bajillion tiny pieces of a bajillion tiny playsets arranged carefully and taking up an entire step.

I called to Caroline, "You need to come clean up your toys or we'll be late to the first day of Artistic Expressions at preschool!"

She groaned but ran over, eager to be on time for much-hyped new session at school; but then she paused and looked at the assemblage of tiny plastic things.

"Well, Mama, I have to tell you. I find this scene very artistic..."

Monday, July 26, 2010

paris, 1970

I was trying to shoo my beloved child from my side, where she was badgering spending quality time with me. I told her, "Go. Fly. Be free! You're a four year old. You should be having fun. Go! Frolic!"

She stepped back and playfully started arguing against my directions. "I want to be with you!" and "I have fun with you!" and "I don't want to go!" preceded the best one.

She danced a bit, then froze, and her shoulders drooped and she put on a pantomime frown.

She deadpanned, "Look. I'm unfrolicking."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

little miss kindness

Cousin Erin, 8, came to visit for a long weekend. The girls played together for many hours of each day; and by the end of the visit, they were sort of sick of each other and behaving more like grumpy siblings than adoring cousins.

When it was time to go, Erin asked for a hug.

Caroline told her, "Oh, I already gave you one."

Erin disputed, "No! You did not!"

"Of course I did. It was an imaginary hug."

Friday, July 23, 2010

hallmark will steal this sentiment for a series of cards

We were talking about firemen and firewomen the other day, thanks to the inspiration from the preschool session about community helpers.

I was telling Caroline that we had lots of firemen in our family history. I told her about great-grandpa and how Pappaw was a fireman before he got sick. Then I brought up Uncle Jim, who was a battalion chief before he retired a few years ago.

"Oh! I didn't know that. That's neat to know. "

I nodded.

She continued, "Yeah. I like Uncle Jim. I'm glad he's not dead."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

why do you ask?

Caroline arrived downstairs and had reprised her role of Anna the Gymnasticker. This time she had rainbow legwarmers on her arms and legs, and a mesh headband was wrapped around her noggin like a sweatband. Sort of like a pink Rambo.

"I'm here for the most difficult challenge!"

And then she climbed onto the coffee table, put her hands on her hips, and struck a valiant pose. Chest out, face fierce, chin up.

She pointed at the chandelier above her and asked very subtly, "Sooooooo, is that a light or a gymnastic hang-grabber?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

that's not short for anything

Caroline was sitting next to me on the couch, squeezing my unflexed calf muscle.

"Mom, your leg feels... squishy."

She continued to squeeze.

Then she turned to me and said very boldly, "Yep, you're one squishy mother!"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

i need an "unsolved mysteries" style re-enactment, please

"Mama, I have something terrible to tell you. This sock I was using on my hand as a paw when I was pretending to be a kitten at the beach, it got all wet."

[picture a skeptical look from Mama as wet sock is flopped on the coffee table]

"It just... slippety slided all the way into the toilet, but it's not my fault because I didn't LET it slippety slide into the toilet water, it just... happened."

Friday, July 16, 2010

i don't think this is what they had in mind

Caroline's preschool is doing summer camp-like sessions with a different theme every two weeks. This session is called "Community Helpers," and it intends to expose them to a variety of jobs that benefit the community. At the end of the theme description, the director wrote, "Be prepared to hear lots of 'I want to be a ________ when I grow up!'"

She was not wrong. Caroline came home today after learning lots of details about fire trucks and firefighters and said, "I want to be a dalmatian dentist when I grow up!"

daddy snap

I told her I was selling my children and running away. She giggled and said, "No, you won't!"

"How much do you think I'd make from selling you?" I asked.

"One hundred dollars!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

like a def leppard song

When Caroline was 2, her teachers traced her hand onto a piece of paper, put a poem on it, laminated it, and put a magnet on the back. These are the precious things to schmaltzy parents. Tiny little construction paper hand magnets. I swoon at the mere thought of these things.

Big 4 year old Caroline found it on the wall and brought it to me and asked me to rip the magnet off the back.

Mama: Noooo! This is precious to me. You cannot take it apart.

Caroline: It's just a little hand.

Mama: Yes, but it's your hand and you made it with love, and it's so special to me!

Caroline: Love doesn't make things beautiful, Mom.

Mama: This is beautiful! It warms my heart just to see it.

And I took it away from her and clutched it melodramatically.

Caroline: I have to tell you, Mama. You'll be sorry. Love is cold.

Friday, July 9, 2010

record this call for training purposes

We recently had a chat about calling 911, and how it's to be used properly. So it was no surprise this afternoon when I heard "Mrs. Cat" (who was wearing sock paws on her hands and feet) on the pink plastic play phone line.

"Hello, Emergency Cat. This is Mrs. Cat. This is an emergency. My 5 year old kitten is captured by fire. You have to save her! It's so dangerous! Please hurry!"

Then she turned it up a few notches, grasping at her neck in terror and wailing, " You have to come and save her from being captured! She's going to get a RASH! SAVE HER! You have to save her!!!!! "

She then pulled the phone away from her ear and gave it a disgusted look before exclaiming to the emergency cat on the other end of the line, "YES, THIS IS REAL!"

reality sinks in

Caroline counted the cats, the dog, and the two of us. "Five! There are five of us in the family down here."

I mentioned that Daddy and Sylvie were sleeping upstairs.

"Ok, seven. Seven people in the family. Well some are creatures. But there are seven people and creatures in the family. That's a lot of people and creatures! TOO MANY!"

I asked what she thought we should do about that.

"I guess we'll have to... sell Daddy."

I asked what price she thought he would bring.

"Seven dollars." Then she kind of raised an eyebrow and made a slight grimace, " Wait, maybe six."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

she's signed up for the soviet program

Caroline decided this morning that she was "Anna the Gymnasticker." She ran down the stairs in a very athletic ensemble and proceeded to demonstrate her many gymnasticking moves. There was The Twister, wherein she twisted while standing up; also a hit was The Table Walk, which involved walking on the table; and so on. After Fast Gymnastics (running), she climbed on the coffee table and did some Side Tables and some Side Twisters. You can see how predictable this became.

Suddenly she stood very tall with her arms straight up. "And this is The Stand Up Falconer."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

feeling patriotic

Last week, Caroline had her 4 year Well Child visit at the pediatrician. She was measured (43" and 40lbs, for my own records), poked (3 shots and an iron check, for her own ire), and tested. Among the tests was the old "stand at the end of the hall with a spoon over one eye" vision test. I guess they assume that younger kids don't know letters reliably, so they had her do the shape chart, like so:

She was delighted with the "what's this?" game as the super chipper nurse pointed out each shape. Her answers were as follows:


We had a joint birthday party with family in Indiana this weekend, since Caroline's birthday was last month and baby sister Sylvie's birthday is later this month. Caroline selected the theme for her cake, and it was done to her preference.

Behold the United States of American Pink Poodle birthday cake. Her only criticism was that she would have liked three pink poodles instead of just one. Caroline also selected Sylvie's cake theme, which was United States of American Hello Kitty with a Ball of Yarn cake.

Our founding fathers would be so proud.

Friday, July 2, 2010

mad goose skillz

I slammed on the brakes for a few geese waddling across the road. I honked the horn a handful of times to warn other drivers of their presence and to hurry the geese to get to the other side. A few minutes later, Caroline asked, "Hey, why did you do that with the geese, Mama?"

I told her that I didn't want to hurt them, so I stopped to let them cross safely; and that I honked the horn so they would move faster and be safer.

She had awe in her voice. "Wow. Who knew you were a goose expert."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Caroline: Marmy is my grandmother.

Mama: That's right, she is your grandmother and my mother.

Caroline: She's NOT your mom!

Mama: Yes, Marmy is my mom. How else do you think she became your grandmother?

Caroline: She got old. That's how it happens.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

i'd say it qualifies

Caroline entered the house, and a pink butterfly net was thrust in my face.

"Look. There are some pansies in it, and a rock too. I also caught a fly. See the fly right there? It's a dead fly, but it still counts."


This was immediately followed by, "I think I'm going to start a collection."

I think Little Miss is ready for the summer session of preschool to begin.

the petite villain

I heard a scream.

Caroline begged for help.

I quickly came to her aid and found her cornered by a... laughing, crawling baby.

"What's the problem?" I asked.

"Sylvie's going to get me!!!!"

"Uh, she's a baby. What's she going to do to you?" I tried not to roll my eyes.

"Have you seen those two pointy little teeth?! And she looks hungry!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010

preschool jurisprudence

She said:
Hey Mama, I think I'm going to need one of those teeeeny tiny Rs in a circle for school so I can keep Otis* from copying me.

She wants:

*Name changed to maintain the element of surprise when the cease and desist order arrives.

Friday, June 25, 2010

setting a good example

Caroline said at dinner, "You know, we shouldn't just throw our garbage all over the planet. It's a bad to do that."

I nodded and said that yes, we have to take care of the world, thinking she was a little environmentalist.

She continued, "Yeah! If we do throw garbage all over the planet, when the aliens come, they will just put their trash all over Earth, too."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the maternal sherpa has no sympathy

While unloading the kids from the car, I had baby Sylvie in one arm with a bag of stuff dangling from that wrist and my keys in that hand; and I let Caroline out of her carseat with my right hand before picking up another bag of stuff, a cup, and some art papers. I told Caroline she'd have to hold her own water cup and her small toy and carry them inside herself.

She said, "I'm afraid I can't."

And why not?

"I only have two hands, Mom."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

welcome to paramount studios, circa 1942

After being told she could not have a drink of water before bed, Caroline slowly turned her face away and stretched a hand towards her father, as if to tell him to stop. And then she winced in despair and said, "Just... just forget about me."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

needing a vacation from the vacation

This just in from special correspondent Aunt JuJu, who took Caroline for a walk on the beach this morning...

Caroline: You know, this vacation is tearing my life apart.

JuJu: How's that?

Caroline: My dog misses me. I miss my house. It's just really tearing my life apart.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

the most specialest father's day everrrrr

Caroline and several of her cousins have been enjoying the Wii game Just Dance (think dance karaoke) during the evening hours of this family vacation. So we've endured countless enthusiastic dance renditions of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" and "Ring My Bell" and "I Like to Move It", among others, including Gym Class Heroes' cover of Britney's "Womanizer."

Today, we were making Father's Day cards for the dads and grandpa, and Caroline had written something on her card in her phonetic shorthand like:


And I asked what it said, thinking it was something poetic for her beloved dad, and she sang:

"Boy don't try to front, I know just what you ar-ar-are. Boy don't try to front, I know just what you ar-ar-are."

Friday, June 18, 2010

put that on my headstone

I made baked French toast for 20 people this morning, and after Caroline enjoyed a bite, she raised her fork and said, "Aaaah, the sweet taste of sugar!"

I laughed at her, and she got very serious.

"I mean it. You're the best cooker ever, Mama."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

when in rome

Caroline, while on our Mexican vacation, to the Mexican woman doing housekeeping at the beach house in Mexico:

"Oh! Hola to you, too! I didn't know you speak Spanish!"

Monday, June 14, 2010

c. montgomery burns, jr.

Caroline got an ickily realistic toy lizard that she named Anna. Anna has been up to lots of things in the 24 hours we have had her. She's taught about centrifugal force, why mothers don't like sticky gooey lizards on their faces, that hiding sticky gooey lizards in dark computer bags can be a funny prank, and even more.

But now I fear that Caroline is teaching Anna too much.

Anna sat on the couch upright with her sticky gooey lizard fingers steepled, and the painted serious look on her face.

I asked Caroline what Anna was up to.

She informed me, "I'm afraid she's thinking, 'Hmmmm. I like destroying dreams.'"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

grizzled and weathered

We were getting ready to board a plane for the family reunion trip to Mexico. I was trying to psych her up about the plane ride, since she's a little edgy about certain noises (like, oh, hairdryers or a clicking cd) but totally tolerant of what I'd think are terrible noises. It's a crapshoot, so I try to prepare her as positively as possible in advance, just in case.

I reviewed that "it's like a loud whoosh and the wheels will fold up and make a loud sound, but it's sooooo cooooool that we can fly, and how big will a building look from a sky? Will you feel like a giant? No this is not a diversionary tactic, why do you ask?"

We continued this conversation for a while before she mentioned that she'd never been on a plane before.

I told her that she had, but she was a toddler last time, so she probably didn't remember.

"Oh definitely. I don't remember the old days.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

channeling bad comedy

While I tried to convince her to wear an outfit that was not pink, she grimaced and said, "Yeeaaaah, white's not really [air quote]my color[/air quote]."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

transparency is good and bad

She leaned back, blew me a kiss in a super fake dramatic way.

I looked at her funny.

She tilted her head and smiled and said, "I'm just a schmoozer."

Monday, June 7, 2010

setting herself up for disappointment

We leave soon for a family reunion trip in Mexico.

A couple months ago, she made this at school:

Today, I mentioned the whole trip and how fun it would be for her to hang out with her many cousins. She was a little more excited about something else.

"Yeah, the cousins will be fun, but I totally want to see some eagles eating rattlesnakes."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

can we get a redo?

Today, she is four. The morning started off well. She was thrilled to discover her gifts, declared it the "wonderfullest" birthday ever, and got ready to take some blueberry muffins to school for her birthday treat. She was a little hoarse this morning, but nothing too bad. As we walked out the door, she complained of a stomach ache.

40 minutes after I dropped her off at school, I got a call to come back and get her and the muffins because she had a fever. Came home, set up shop in the playroom so she could lounge and rest and still play a little. Canceled the family party scheduled for later tonight. Got her lunch ready and delivered, and then she ran up to me and told me that our cat was chasing a chipmunk through the living room.

Then I saw the cat dragging the wriggling chipmunk towards us, and being a tough broad, I screamed and holed the girls and myself up in the master bedroom and called for testosterone backup.

Caroline insisted on going and intervening in the cat/chipmunk ordeal. She wanted to break bread and get them peaceful, only she suggested they break pretzels since chipmunks love pretzels. When I explained that our cat was probably going to play the role of reaper to the chipmunk, Caroline got really upset.

"But Mama, I have to go down there. I have always wanted a pet chipmunk, and Bijoux is a -- what's that word where one animal kills other animals? Predator! -- Bijoux is a predator to chipmunks. My birthday is ruined because I can't even have a blueberry muffin treat at school, my family party is canceled, and now we're going to have to have a chipmunk memorial!"

The chipmunk escaped. It's still somewhere in the house, and while this might be a relief to Caroline (not to me), she got some bad news that she has croup and has to take steroids again. She hates the taste of them and was trying to negotiate out of them. The doctor gave her a choice of one shot of them or 3 days of drinking them. She chose to drink them. But the misery of this day is not lost on her. She held up a lollipop given to her by the pitying doctor and said very woefully, "Happy birthday to myyyyyself."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

on the eve of four

Caroline and I were driving around running errands. I told her this is the last day she will ever be three, and I asked her to tell me the three things she likes best about herself. They are as follows (verbatim, of course):

1. I am really caring to people, and I love people because they are so different and interesting. And I just love them. So it's good to be kind and friendly.

2. I like that I have a good imagination and make wonderful pretend chef food that tastes better than you can believe.

3. I have great style. You know, my fashion.

Monday, May 31, 2010


The other night, Caroline was schmoozing me. "Oh I love you, Mama!" out of nowhere. I was suspicious, especially since she'd been pretty ornery the whole day.

"What are you up to?" I asked.

"Whaaatttttt?" She was shocked.

"I think you're up to something!"

"No!" She got offended. "I am not doing anything bad..."

I started to feel guilty and wrapped my arm around her.

Then she finished her sentence, " Maybe later."

Saturday, May 29, 2010


We were presented with a pail full of sand from the sandbox.

"Would you like to try some?" she asked.

But what is it?

"Oh, it's something I call Quinoa Papaya Feast."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


We recently accepted our fate and bought a used minivan that came with an entertainment package. We instituted a rule that the DVD player can only be used for car rides of the road trip variety (meaning hours long at a minimum). She's only had 2 movie rides in a few months, just to explain the rarity of this treat.

I've been trying hard to find a bike trailer that can accommodate her height (she's off-the-charts tall), and I finally found one. I was showing her photos of it and explaining how she and Sylvie will ride behind me in the trailer and how it kind of looks like a rocket, etc. She was very excited by the description and pictures, but stopped suddenly and asked...

"And where is the movie screen?"

Monday, May 24, 2010

existential tin foil

We were watching tv together. Caroline turned to me and cleared her throat.

Caroline: We're real, right?

Mama: Oh definitely. We're real.

Caroline: We aren't drawings or characters, right?

Mama: Right.

Caroline: We're real and we think our own things. And we live a real life, right?

Mama: Yes, I promise you that you are real and alive.

Caroline: And no one controls our thoughts.

Mama: No one.

Caroline: [suspiciously] No one that you know, anyway.

Friday, May 21, 2010


It was supposed to be a nice day today. So when it started raining, I sighed and sang, "Rain, rain, go away..."

Caroline gave me her patented look of pity, "Mama, you don't really think that's going to work, do you?"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

next suggestion: registry at toys r us

Caroline: I love you, Mommy.

Mama: I love you, too.

Caroline: I really think Daddy should wed you.

Mama: Uh, you mean you think he should marry me?

Caroline: Yeah, like have a wedding.

Mama: We did that already. Over 5 years ago.

Caroline: Well, maybe you should get married again. I need a reason to party.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

non-lissajous curve

"Look, Mom. I am walking in a shape. I just made a figure eight. Now I'm making a figure nine. And now a figure ten. Did you see that? It's pretty great, huh? Ok, watch this special one... it's... a... figure puppy!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

me neither, kid.

I was upstairs changing her baby sister, when Caroline came running up the stairs crying. I asked what was wrong, expecting an injury or something scary.

"M-m-m-ma-mama, I don't ever want to be a grownup."

sports talk live

We drove by a field full of busy youth athletic leagues.

Caroline: Ooooh, what are they playing?

Mama: That's football. Flag football.

Caroline: Football, with flags??!! I think I'd like to play that!

Mama: Well, I think you have to be 5 to play. But if you're still interested in a couple years, sure, you can play. It's mostly boys, but there are some girls, too!

Caroline: That sounds like fun. And I can play tennis too.

Mama: We'd need to get you into pee wee tennis at the community center before you could play in any sort of league.

Caroline: I already know how to play tennis, Mama.

Mama: Really? I didn't know that. What are the rules?

Caroline: Oh sure! I definitely know how to play. You just, like, get one of those puppy balls. You know, the ones that are a little yellow and a little green and kind of fuzzy and have a white stripe? You get a dog ball like that, and, well, you just hit it. With one of those netty bats. I'm a pro, actually.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

like that sheriff in arizona

Caroline entered the room with her chin in the air, fists on her hips and making great strides. She was wearing a rainbow shirt with pink striped leggings under pink running shorts.


Mama: You are.

Caroline: I AM PINK GIRL! I have the power to spray pink, and this is my Super Poodle who has the power to clean up messes!

Mama: But what happens when you spray pink?

Caroline: Uh, it makes everything pink. You know. Covers things in pink.

Mama: But how does that help catch bad guys?

Caroline: It doesn't catch bad guys, but it makes them all pink. And how can you want to do bad things if you are covered in the most real, beautiful color there is?

not adding this one to the list

"I think I know what I want for my birthday. A trombone."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

on the supreme court of motherhood

Caroline has been making me "Happy Mother's Day" cards all day. I love the phonetic spelling of "Mamy" and all the singing animals and swirls she has drawn. But there is one card that is better than the rest.

"Here, Mom. This one is a special one. I want you to treasure it."

I told her I would, so she gave it to me.

"It's a cat that shaved itself, you see?"

I tried not to giggle and thanked her and promised that I will treasure it always.

"It was made with care and love, you know."

I know. Oh, how I know.

She took both my hands in hers and held them flat. And then she started pumping them like a huddled sports team, chanting "Care and love and care and love..." I was totally taken aback by this but played along, all the way through to the spirit-fingers at the end. "...and care and love and care and love and JUSTICE!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

grooming empathy

Our dog Reuben is a hairy beast. He is a basset hound mix, and part of that mix is some sort of giant cotton plant, or maybe just a German Shepherd. Quarterly, giant black puffballs of downy fuzz start appearing on our rugs, furniture, floor... and faces. He sheds this undercoat like nothing I've ever seen before. It is that time of the year. So we must do something he hates: brush him. A lot.

I took the Furminator and the slicker brush to him this morning while Chuck held him by the collar. Caroline "helped" -- mostly by spilling the grocery bag full of hair all over the floor. As I brushed, Reuben groaned and "mrph"ed like basset hounds are prone to do. It's akin to how I imagine a duet featuring a walrus and Chewbacca. Pleasant.

I was almost done brushing the unhappy Reub, and he groaned loudly and tried to run away. Caroline patted him on the head, and said, "I know. I know, boy. She does it to me every morning."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

miss congeniality

I was making dinner, and we were talking about her day at school.

"Maeve and Katie and I were playing like we were witches."

I was a little surprised because she's never mentioned witches before. So I asked, "Witches?"

"Yeah, we ran around and turned all the other kids into stinky cheese."

already smarter than the average husband

A commercial for the George Foreman Grill was on television. It told us, straight up, how we should gift our mothers with a fantastic George Foreman Grill for Mother's Day.

Caroline clucked.

"Whhaaat?" She was getting more annoyed by the second. "That is supposed to be a present? That is for cooking. That is not a present, it's a responsibility."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

growing up in a different era

"This is a beautiful flower. I drew it just for you, Mama."

"And this is where you get information about the flower."

[".com" if you can't read it]

Monday, May 3, 2010


"I need to make a video now because Nesty [toy dog] needs me, and you won't even get your camera. You're letting Nesty down. You're the most terrible mother ever. Oh wait, I need a cookie first. Then you'll be the most terrible mother. After that."

Friday, April 30, 2010

delightfully fragrant

We were picking out more hand soap for the hall bathroom (aka Caroline's bathroom), and she immediately noticed the ones aimed at children.

"Oooooh, Spongebob soap, Mama! Wouldn't that be great? Oh wait, it probably smells like cheese. Nevermind."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

breck, jr.

Caroline was asking me questions about her asthma, and I explained that it was childhood asthma, so she would only have it when she was a child.

The next morning, I got her ready for school. I was doing her hair when she asked, "Oh, are you brushing my childhood hair?"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

well now it all makes sense

En route to Target, I warned Caroline that this was a soap- and prescription-gathering trip only. No toys. She asked why, and I told her it was because we don't always get toys when we want them, her birthday is coming up, etc. She said, "Oh." And then I threw in the last word with, "Plus, you are getting toooo spoiled!" She sat quietly for a couple minutes. Then she piped up.

"Hey, Mama. I know why I'm too spoiled. It's because you use such big words and big ways to tell me 'no,' but I have these tiny little ears, and they just can't hear you."

Monday, April 26, 2010

appealing to the botanical authorities

She found a dandelion that had gone to seed, a real treasure for her. She held it delicately as we got into the car.

"Mama, I don't think 'dandelion' is a good name for this flower."

I asked what she thought they should be called.

"Well, the magical little ball of magical fluff looks more like a disco ball. Maybe 'dandy-disco.'"

I laughed.

"Mama, I'm not being funny. Let's make this happen."

Friday, April 23, 2010

sisters are good for giggles

Caroline passed by her sister and brushed her arm against the little baby head in the process.

She started to tee hee to herself and looked at me with a silly, squinty face and said, "I just touched her fuzznoggin."

the commercials work

She really is a marketer's dream.

Last night, Caroline and her dad attended parent night at preschool, and on the way home, they stopped by the nearby ice cream shop for a little treat.

As she was eating it, she was asked how it tasted.

"Oh it's wonderful. Tastes just like low calorie sweetener!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

an impressive vocabulary

Caroline: Look at my tratraption.

Mama: You mean 'contraption'?

Caroline: No, my tra-traption. It's a pathway.

Mama: Hm, I am unfamiliar with a tratraption.

Caroline: It's sort of like... you know... from tremontry.

Mama: Oh, from tremontry. Now I know what you mean.

Caroline: I bet you feel like an airhead now.

Monday, April 19, 2010

what would wikipedia say?

"Do aliens have dads?"

james brown lives here

"Mama, can you help me make up a new song? Something kind of easy because I don't want to use up all my soul."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

see, to me, that would be undesirable

Several long roadtrips in a few weeks = several fast-food meals on the road.

Today, Caroline got a kids' meal from one major drive-thru restaurant, and as I was handed the bag, she began rubbing her hands together with gleeful anticipation and yelling, "Which junky toy did I get? Which junky toy did I get?!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

future vp of dq

I took Caroline to an old favorite childhood haunt -- my hometown's Dairy Queen.

She sat on the bench with a gigantic tile mosaic of an ice cream cone behind her and ate her strawberry sundae with excitement. I was looking at her with nostalgia and happiness.

A few bites in, she exclaimed, "Well, so far, so sweet!"


As we were leaving, she saw others in line for their own treats.

Caroline: Why are those people in line?

Mama: They are getting their own ice cream now. Who doesn't like ice cream?!

Caroline: Crazy people.

a peppy tune

Caroline was playing with a little toy cat and was singing a little song that went like this:

It's good to be a cat at home
It's better than being at the cat pound
There's bad food like asparagus at the cat pound
But there's pizza at home
And you'd miss your mo-o-o-ommm at the cat pound
'Cause it's really like a jail
And they make you wear striped clothes
But if you're a cat, you dislike wearing clothes
And I know it's true because of the sock situation with my cat

Thursday, April 15, 2010

discussions ongoing

After being reminded to settle down when she and her cousin were running through the house screaming:

"Well, let's talk about all of this blame of me."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

temporarily abdicating the title "center of the universe"

We were at Costco today and the same woman who did the leprechan voice at Caroline happened to be waiting on us again.

Caroline told her, "I have something very special to tell you."

The woman asked to hear it.

"Strawberry Shortcake has a kitty and her name is Custard! Can you believe it?!"

The woman played along very enthusiastically. "Oh, Strawberry Shortcake is the cutest. I love her freckles. I bet you have freckles like that in the summertime too!"

Caroline looked at her incredulously and said, "Let's talk about Custard, ok? This is a WAY bigger deal than me."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

hunting and gathering and hinting

We are visiting my parents' house, and Caroline located some Easter candy.

"Why, see what I found, Daddy. It looks like a delicious, large chocolate bunny!"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

frowning contest

Caroline and I were staring each other down in a fake grump-off. Snarling, furrowed brows, dirty looks. The works. I went to my secret weapon, the smirk-snarl, when she caved with, "You gotta turn that off, girl."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

baby specialist

Sylvie (baby sister) was shaking a remote control and, in the process, was repeatedly smacking herself in the head with it. I looked at her in dismay and asked rhetorically, "Why in the world would she do that so many times in a row?"

Caroline shrugged and said, "Maybe variety isn't really the spice of life for babies. Maybe it's their small brains in their small heads. Maybe she likes it."

"Could be," I replied.

"Maybe it's personal."

Monday, April 5, 2010

mommy's time out

I was sitting on the couch, totally touched out and needing a no-children break. I sighed and relaxed. Suddenly a certain 3 year old came over the back of the couch and slid down the cushion, wedging herself firmly against me. She did the awkward wrapping of her arm around my shoulder, as if a teenage boy at the movies, and said casually, "Wow, it's really delightful to be sitting here with ya."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

her own fantasy island

Caroline chose a nautical dress today. Navy blue and covered in little silkscreened ship steering wheels and a rope belt around the drop waist. I commented that her dress was adorable and gave her a salute, and said, "You look like you're ready to sail your yacht to anywhere you want! Where are you headed today, Cap'n?"

"Anywhere I want in my whole imagination?"

"Aye aye!" More saluting here.

She clapped her hands, giddy at the prospect of this journey, and then said, "Target!"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

fresh and modest

We busted out the spring clothes today, since it's so sunny and warm (finally). Caroline was very excited at the prospect of wearing skirts and dresses without tights or leggings to keep her warm.

As she descended the stairs, dressed and ready for school in her favorite green skirt and a rainbow shirt, she sang out "Who wants to see someone pretttyyyy?"

a light carnivorous meal

"Hey Mama. Do carnivore dinosaurs eat fairies?"

Monday, March 29, 2010

who's on first

Caroline: Nooooo, I'm afraid.

Mama: What are you afraid of?

Caroline: I'm afraid of a different thing.

Mama: What are you talking about??

Caroline: I'm afraid!

Mama: OF WHAT?

Caroline: NOOOOOO. A different I'm afraid.

Mama: [has stroke] What. Are. You. Afraid. Of?

Caroline: I'm afraid, like WITH A MEANING.

Mama: Meaning??

Caroline: Like I'm afraid you don't know any language!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

extinct != out of stock

The announcement came out of nowhere while we were running an errand. From the backseat, I heard a very chipper, "Hey Mama. I really want to ride a T. rex some day."

I told her that I was sure it would have been fun, but dinosaurs are extinct, which means there aren't dinosaurs anymore. Sooo maybe she would have to settle for a camel.

"But I have this great idea. You and I will go to a store. A really big store with tall ceilings. And we will buy a big T. rex. We'll have to use a special big truck to get him, but it is still a great idea, right?"

I used our experience with the book Lifetimes to tell her that there aren't any more living dinosaurs.

She began to cry quietly.

"But it was my life dream..."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

i concur

"You know would be great for the world? More pancake sing-alongs."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

you're either with her or against her

Caroline was playing with her ponies, and I noticed one of them suspiciously placed across the coffee table.

I interrupted her and asked, "Why is Sweetie Belle over here all alone?"

"Huh? Oh, Sweetie Belle. I'm afraid she's an evil-doer."

Monday, March 22, 2010


We pulled into the local produce market, and the car radio was blaring the first verse and chorus of an AC/DC song (hey, don't judge -- she doesn't get the subtleties of shaking one all night long). Caroline was thrashing her head around while clutching the chest clip of her carseat, and I put the car into park.

"Mama! Don't! Don't turn off the car! I have to finish rockin' out!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

just like in the fairy tales

Caroline: Did you hear that? Did you hear that 'knock knock knock'?

Mama: No, I didn't hear anything.

C: I hear it, do you hear it? [look of irritation]

M: Oh, yes! Yes, I do hear it. A knock knock.

C: I think it's some fairies!

M: How exciting!

C: [revealing a handful of small dolls] They're here! Say hello!

M: Hello fairies!

C: [in the voice of a fairy] Hello, Mama. The fairy friends and I are here to make your lifelong dreams come true. Look to the talking wall and your dreams will be offered.

M: Fulfill my dreams, oh wall.

C: Your lifelong dream is... a ball. [dramatic bow]

M: Oh a ball, just like I've dreamed of!

C: You can thank me and my other fairy friends. I am Tinkerbell. And this is Holly, Polly, Anna, and the one wearing roller skates is BerryPicker.

Friday, March 19, 2010

jokes with instructions

"You gotta hear this joke. I made it up. Ready? Ok. How would you like some roasted steam for dinner? HAHAHAHAHA! Doyagetit? Doyagetit?"

Oh boy, I got it. And I gave what I thought was a convincing laugh.

"No, Mama. You're supposed to hold your sides when you laugh at great jokes."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

an understated affair, to be sure

We have begun planning Caroline's fourth birthday party. Yes, it is a whopping 75 days away, but it is her first "friends party," and I like to do things homemade and personal. So it's going to take me some time to get things planned, made, and done.

We won't be doing a bounce house, a petting zoo, clowns for hire, or knife jugglers. She has, however, made a request for "one of those attention guys. You know, the ones that are all shaky in the sky with the crazy hair."

It took me a couple minutes to realize she meant these:

I quickly denied this request. I am making her cake, for crying out loud. For her party that will be held in our backyard. Without corporate sponsors. Or used automobiles available for purchase.

"But Mama... Come on! Come on! You know it would be so great. He could be in our front yard!"

Oh sure, to greet the parents and children... and motioning to aircraft flying over our fair city.

"He's so great and cheerful, Mama. He will be perfect. And I will name him 'Fancy Man.' This party is going to be so amazing."

hopefully not a tested theory

"Mama, why don't dogs like Slinkies?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

no pot o' gold at the end of this rainbow

Chuck worked from home today, which meant Caroline and I got to spend some quality one-on-one time... at Costco, Target, and the local produce market. Real quality time. As I mentioned below, the girl was pretty decked out in green.

Everywhere we went, people would comment on her being "a little leprechaun."

At the 37th mention went like this:
Costco lady: [fake brogue] Top 'o the morning to ye, little lass!

Caroline: Hi! I think it's afternoon now.

Costco lady: Right ye are, little leprechaun!

Caroline: Actually, I'm just a girl.

And then she turned to me and stage whispered, "I thought everyone knew that leprechauns aren't real!"

four leaf clover

Caroline insisted that every article of clothing on her body had a lot of green in it because, "Hey, I don't want to get pinched! Do you want to get pinched?"

She was so excited to celebrate today. When I suggested that she wish her teacher a Happy St. Patrick's Day, she said, "Oh, that's a green ideen! Idea. Idea-en. Hm. I wanted to make that rhyme, green and idea. It didn't work, did it?"

I shook my head and told her it was a good try.

"Oh well, today's still going to be sweet!"

Monday, March 15, 2010

focusing on the message

I have laryngitis or pharyngitis or some other -itis. I just have very little voice at all right now. I can squeak out some syllables, and the rest is just a barky whisper.

You have to talk a lot when you have 3 year old. It's in the job description.

I was telling Caroline a cute story that a preschool friend's mother told me. The preschool friend's toddler sister was wearing a barrette in her hair, much like Caroline does 99% of the time. The little girl looked in the mirror and gasped and smiled and said, "Now I look like Caroline!"

After sharing this with Caroline, I asked (as best I could), "Isn't it so sweet that little Corinne was thinking of you?"

Caroline stared at me for a couple seconds and said, "You know, you sound like a goose. And a goat. You sound like a goose-goat, all at the same time."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

not so enjoyable

Soooo, she's on steroids again because antibiotics and breathing treatments, along with a daily asthma medication, were just not enough to make her well. Last time she had to take prednisone, she was Caroline on speed. This time, she is essentially a depressive drunk.

She woke up at 7:10am. Late for her. I am also sick, so I was sleeping on the couch so I wouldn't wake the baby with my cough. Chuck was in our room with the baby, door closed. Nothing woke her up. No one so much as creaked a floorboard near her. We suddenly and unexpectedly heard the plaintive wail of a prednisone-powdered preschooler followed by "I DON'T WANT TO BE AWAKE!" and some weeping. That pretty much set the tone for the day.

The world ends about 54 times per hour. She is manic for 3 minutes then cries about utter nonsense for 57. It has been a difficult 48 hours, and we still have 1 more day to go. Not so many memorable kazooisms, though many bewildered looks, and we are trying hard to remember that she isn't intentionally behaving this way.

The one time we had to contain our laughter occurred today when she had shoved 2 Polly Pocket girls down a narrow cardboard tube that came in a package we'd just opened. The dolls were in space, you see. And now they were stuck in a tube in space. She started to get upset about how they would never get out of the tube. "DADDY! DADDY! You have to get them out of here NOW." He started to work at freeing the NASA Pollies at what I would call a quick pace (we are not stupid -- don't rouse the beast, etc.), and she couldn't take the wait. Tears started, and she blurted:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

guess we don't have to save for college

She walked into the room after her bath, wrapped in a towel and looking serious.

Caroline: I'm sorry but I found my true destiny.

Mama: What is your destiny?

Caroline: I need to be a mermaid.

humoring us

Caroline spent part of her day making her baby sister laugh and laugh and laugh. She can do it like no one else can. So when Chuck got home, I told Caroline to come show him how she makes Sylvie laugh.

She strolled in, looked at Sylvie and said, "You have a shoe on your head!" And Sylvie cracked up.

Caroline walked away, saying, "Yeah, that's my funniest stuff."

vocabulary fail

Regarding Reuben the basset hound mix:

"Mama, Reuben is disgusting. He smells like... like... [sigh] I don't know. He smells like dirt. But dirt is really not bad enough. I don't have a word for this stink."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ill communication

Caroline has a sinus infection, bronchitis, and what seems to be newly discovered "childhood asthma" which makes the normal cold turn into six weeks of doom (like sinus infection and bronchitis). This is all quite new to us, as she had only a couple minor viruses in her first three years. But the poor kid is sick as a dog right now. And to add to the fun, she started throwing up this morning.

She has thoughts on this. Like:

"Daddy should never have given me that milk! Mucus!!!!"

"I can't go to school like this. No one wants to see me puke."

"I just keep getting sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker and sicker..."

And, my favorite, as she clutched a bucket, "I hope I don't have a bad life."

Monday, March 8, 2010

awkward baby small talk

We were at the pediatrician's office (AGAIN) today, and the one nurse must be mainlining sunshine and rainbows because she is so enthusiastic and bouncy and over the top baby-talky that I just about need insulin after standing in the same room with her. She is kind and sweet, but man there is a lot of boisterous schmoopy talk that just flows from her.

She asked Caroline to take her shoes off so she could be weighed ("Okie dokie, little miss. Can we get your adddddorable shoesie woosies off so we can weigh you? Oooooh, you are 38 potatoes! Yes you are. 38 SWEET po-tay-tees.").

Caroline looked a little uncomfortable but smiled, and then looked at me like "Lady, help me!"

We had the litany of normal questions for a sick visit, all in hyperactive candy-coated code. Then the nurse asked Caroline for her age.

"Um, I'm three. I used to be two. But then I grew, and now I am three." And then she shuffled her feet and winced a little. "I mean, three sweet po-tay-tees."

Saturday, March 6, 2010


She was enjoying a tangerine Dum Dum Pop when she declared, "I am now calling this my Saturn Lollipop because it has a ring, and it's really the right thing to do."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

full of vitamin no

Caroline: What am I having for lunch?

Mama: I was thinking you could have a sandwich and some cantaloupe or some leftover soup.

Caroline: [deflated] I was really wanting something new. I'd like some new food. Kind of spice it up a little bit.

Mama: Oh. And what exactly were you thinking is a good "new" food?

Caroline: Hmmmm, maybe some chocolate. And some popsicles on the side.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

enforcer of toy sensitivity

I was strapping Caroline into her carseat today, and she was playing with her sister's rattle-esque toy. It has a fish at the top of a handle that is wrapped in jingly rings.

Caroline: It's a fish! On a stick!

Mama: It's a fish stick, [exaggerated] ha ha ha!

Caroline: [look of sternness] Mommy, don't make jokes about the fish. It hurts his feelings.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

take that, pictionary

Caroline: Mama, say "Moo. Hello."

Mama: Uhh, moo. Hello.

Caroline gasps and screams like in a horror movie.

Mama looks at her like she's got six heads.

Caroline: That's called "Talking Cow and the Scared Girl." I just made it up. It's a great new party game.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

this lil ole thing?

Caroline's self-styled hairdo was featuring a red bow with a Santa face in the center. I asked her what was in her hair. She got all faux demure and said with a wave of her hand, "Oh, this? Oh, it's just for extra beauty."

Friday, February 26, 2010

a friend from a previous life

I asked Caroline what words she spelled today at school.

"Bug. Buh-uh-guh. B-u-g. I saw a dead one too. A really creepy dead bug. And it was like it recognized me."

I paused to parse this when she saved me the trouble.

"Well, if I knew what 'recognized' means."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

animal doctors/survivors of war

It is only funny because we all survived.

Imagine, if you will, a noise that sounds like a golf ball in a blender. A bizarre banging. A ridiculously fast banging. Imagine that sound flying around your house for about 30 seconds before a very cute calico cat tumbles by you doing airborne donuts and the kinds of acrobatics reserved for cartoon characters. You try to catch her to see what in the Sam H-e-l-l is going on. And you notice there is a plastic tray full of industrial strength adhesive stuck to her hind foot. A glue trap is stuck to her foot. A glue trap full of dead bugs, along with cat foot, since we have not had a mouse in our basement for quite some time (and never caught one with those stupid things anyway).

My mind was racing. How do you beat the kind of glue meant for this purpose? Are they going to have to amputate her foot? If I let go of her, is she going to rip the pads off her own paw? Home alone with a then-pantless 3 year old and a [tough] baby, it's not like I could have loaded her up and gone to the vet. So I held her still, as best I could, and tried to wrap her trap/paw in plastic to prevent additional appendages getting stuck. This plan failed miserably, and I was bleeding. So Caroline decides we are going to figure this out, and as I held a freaked out cat flat to our counter, she pulled up a stool. "Hi, honey. It's going to be ok!" Sweet, right? I yelled at her to get back, afraid she would get clawed or bitten by a scared cat. Good move, Mom.

I got my wits about me and figured out that oil and adhesives are not friends. So I carried the cat and her trap/foot from one spot to another, getting clawed all the while, and got a bottle of olive oil (EVOO!) and tried to get the cat in the sink so I could pour it on her foot. This attempt at sinkification resulted in a fat lip (for me).

Things were getting hairy, so I sent Caroline on a task I'd hoped would take a few minutes -- "Bring me a towel, please!" She told Lucci Cat not to worry, that she'd be right back. It took her about 10 seconds. I was pouring oil all over the trap, the foot, my kitchen. I could see the ugly skeletal structure of her paw with the fur all minimized and soaked. I attempted to wrap her in the towel to keep her from flinging oil all over the place as she flicked her leg, and I massaged her foot and poured on even more oil. She took a grand leap, trying to escape from the towel and my grasp... and she got away. Mid-air, I noticed the trap flying off her foot. I gasped.

Caroline whooped and hollered, "High five! We're vets!"

she said it was because i am "long"

I was lying in bed, flat on my back with my arms at my side. Caroline walked in and saw me and stopped. "Oh Mama, you look like a sausage. A sausage with hands."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

i have been Told

During the morning rush routine, I found globs of dried toothpaste on her arm, forehead, and in her hair. I was exasperated and said, "I don't know how in the world you manage to do these things!"

"Well, Mama, I guess you have a poor imagination."

random question of the morning

"Do fairies have gills like fish?"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

liberace meets tony robbins

Caroline was rushing around, putting on lots of sparkly accessories. She ran into the room where I was sitting and jumped in front of the full length mirror. She stood up, put her chest out and shoulders back, straightened her dress, smoothed her hair, and looked herself in the mirror with an intense and steely gaze.

"I have enough glitter. Nothing can stop me now."

Friday, February 19, 2010

is this like term limits?

Mama: Caroline, you need to stop the whining now. If you don't stop, you will have to take a nap because I cannot listen to this all day.

Caroline: I'm not going to be like this all day. I just need 20 more minutes to be impossible.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

new and improved bedside manner

She was being Dr. Caroline and wanted to check out her dad's heart. She leaned in to his chest for a listen. All was still and quiet for about 20 seconds as she observed his heartbeat. Then she bolted upright and exclaimed, "Wow, Daddy, you're really great at these things!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

little white mustache

"I'm obsessed with milk. I love it. It's my favorite drink. It's so cold and delicious... which is why I'm obsessed. Also obsessed because it is healthy and has cute little proteins."

Monday, February 15, 2010

attentive older sister

I was strapping her into her car seat when she informed me, "Little Trouble over there has a boogie. It's big, and it's green."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

grab bag of weird

I am eavesdropping while she is in the bath with some toys -- the boobless Barbies, a pony or two, and some random other junk.

"So, that's your boyfriend? Wait, he's your brother too??"

"This is my unicorn. She's got special powers. She also has a very sharp horn, so don't cross her."

"I can't see. Well, I can't hear. Well, I can't talk. We're in serious trouble. We'd better get a ninja."

"Girls, girls, girls. We can play with our nail cuttings later."

Friday, February 12, 2010

an illusion i hold dear

I asked her to wash her face before school.

"Okay boss!" Then she giggled. "I like to call you boss, Mama. It's like pretending you're in charge."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

to my teachers, with love

I always take dictated notes to put in cards from her to others. We were writing our Valentine's Day notes to her teachers, and this is what she said:
I love you very much. I love hearts, too -- especially the floatish ones. But I love you a little bit more than hearts. [air kiss]
Love, Caroline

And to the assistant teacher, she wrote:
Well. I'm a great lover*. And I love you. It's true. I can't put my stuff together sometimes, and I love your help, too.
Love, Caroline

And yeah, for the first time in dictated note history, I edited.

[*she meant that totally literally and innocently. she loves to love.]